The educational system and the environment

IV. Dynamics of the educational system and ist environment

In this section, we will attempt to integrate the ideas so far developed in a relatively isolated way, to expose the dynamics of the educational system and its relation with ist environment. These relations are illustrated in Fig. 3.

An individual becomes a student when he contacts the educational system where he will suffer a transformation. He will become part of the system and will be involved in the relations occurring among the system elements. The educational system displays a combination of its various elements to initiate the transformation process: the educators will manipulate educational contents using certain techniques for transmitting them, and complying with certain norms fixed by the political system, and incorporated into the power structure of the pedagogical units where the transformation takes place, under direct control of directors and administrators.

After complying with the norms to transit the system, the individual could complete or not a given educational level and, according to this we have distinguished between finished and unfinished products. The meaning of each type of product is different within the frame of the system environment, depending on the value (economic, social or political) attributed to the legal symbols granted by the educational system (diplomas, certificate, etc.) The pro-ducts of the educational system will be incorporated as inputs (labor force) of the economic system. The structure of the labor force has a hierarchy based on differential functions in the production process. Thus, the educational system creates a hierarchical ordering of its products by the ordering of its subsystems (educational levels and branches), contributing in this way to maintain the occupational hierarchy and a set of economic relations within society. Similarly, the educational system contributes to reproduce a set of power relations occurring within the political system, since its products have differential rights and duties, and potential quotas of power and participation in decision making.

A certain proportion of the products of the educational system returns to it, as we have indicated in previous sections, in the form of operators inputs such as teachers, directors and administrators. The system feeds itself with a part of its own Product, controlling its behavior and creating conditions for self-reproduction.